Not Getting the Applicants You Want? Maybe it's Your Job Posting.

John Krautzel
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If your recruitment team isn't attracting the right candidates, your job postings could be sending the wrong message. High-quality candidates shop around for compatible employers, and they need compelling reasons to show interest in your company. To get better results from your recruitment process, write job postings that sell candidates on the benefits of your company and motivate them to be part of your team.

Cut the Fluff

Recruiters often use technical language that intimidates candidates and flimsy phrases that say nothing about how the job creates value for the company. Candidates aren't excited when you describe a "tech-savvy communications leader who coordinates and implements targeted marketing campaigns to increase customer acquisition across digital and print channels."

Write in a simple human voice that creates a clear picture of the job duties. For example, say you need a "marketing geek who loves finding out why customers buy company products and creates campaigns to boost loyalty." This description tells readers who you want and why you need them.

Promote the Company

Jobs exist everywhere. Strong candidates choose positions that offer unique perks that aren't available everywhere. Open your job posting with a genuine, engaging description of the company's mission, values and work environment. Then, list benefits that set your organization apart from other employers. If your company offers schedule flexibility, telecommuting opportunities, on-site childcare or a free gym membership, let candidates know. If you want candidates who reflect your company culture, make sure you convey those traits in the description.

Create a Relatable Profile

Make it easy for candidates to see themselves as the missing piece to your company's puzzle. Asking questions is an easy way to profile key traits and skills while leaving the description open-ended enough to attract different personality types. Consider this example:

A. Are you a hands-on learner who likes building and testing products to gather data?
B. We need a meticulous, fast-paced learner who can lead hands-on projects and process high volumes of data.

Example "A" focuses on the core mindset and value a candidate needs to bring to the table. Example "B" uses words like "meticulous," "fast-paced," "lead" and "process," which might overwhelm potential candidates and discourage them from applying, even if they have the right skills.

Connect Through Stories

A good job posting inspires target candidates to imagine themselves in your environment. Use brand storytelling to describe the experience of working with your team and the value you want to create for clients. Instead of writing a list of static duties, describe the central goals and obstacles of the job. Too often, companies are afraid to reveal information that could look bad to investors, but you draw in better candidates by being upfront about the problems you need to solve. Candidates aren't always confident they can excel at every task on an inflexible list, but they're likely to respond if they have past success achieving similar goals.

The recruitment process is about making a sale, so think like a marketer. Make the entire job posting a call to action, and test different formats, wording and headlines until you achieve the desired results.

Photo courtesy of marcolm at


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